Life as a drinker is fairly boring and monotonous.
Combine that with a feeling of being emotionally numb. Spiritually empty.
And there becomes a real need for drama, just to feel like something is happening.
Or even feel at all.
I courted drama as a drinker. Bloody loved it.
Revelled in its presence.
I still panicked when things went wrong though, so life was a constant push-pull emotion of,"oh no I did something bad-phew thank god something is actually happening."
Gossip. Bitching. Causing trouble in my romantic relationships. These were all great ways of courting drama.
The stupid things I did whilst drunk could also bring an element of drama to my life.
But probably my histrionics the day after, in response to my hangover and vague memories of me doing something shameful whilst drunk, were the most handy for dramatic responses.
I could get days of drama out of that.
When I first stopped drinking, I almost missed the excuse for drama.
Because I was so very used to having it around.
That was before I discovered there didn't have to be an empty emotional chasm inside me.
That I could fill this emptiness with happiness, peace, stability and contentment.
And that these emotions ran so deep, they made superficial drama look and feel utterly ridiculous.
I love my drama-free life. I adore my drama-free marriage, friends and family.
Because all of my relationships really are genuinely drama-free. I stopped tolerating it a long time ago.
At first I did it by trying to confront it and telling it loudly to go away.
But that's fighting drama with drama, so of course it didn't work.
Then I had to work out which section of my life I was still being dramatic in, to bring this to my door.
Turns out it was work.
So I changed the channel I was working for, and deliberately made new habits from day one.
These past few weeks have had the potential for drama, for me and my loved ones, it's fair to say.
But we don't engage in drama, not any of us. It's probably one of our strongest common bonds as a family.
We never mine any event for drama. Whatever happens just happens. We deal with it in an understated way.
And when people try and bring their version of drama into our situations, or circle?
We don't engage. So they just get bored and take their drama elsewhere.
I'll never judge another person for needing to inject drama into their own lives and interactions.
Not when it was a habit I cultivated for so long myself.
And, confusingly, it isn't solely a drinker's emotion. Because I don't drink, I now know lots of moderate or non-drinkers. And, amazingly, some of them thrive on drama to fill their inner-emptiness too.
At least former drinkers have the advantage of experiencing dramatic changes in ourselves, so we know we can be different.
Those poor folk who have never had an alcohol problem will struggle far more to evolve than we ever will now.
So I try to be kind. Knowing it comes from a place of almost unbearable unhappiness and numbness within them.
I don't shut the door on them completely.
I just make it clear that there's no space these days, in our home, for such behaviour.
It's a lie to say that life stops being complicated when we stop drinking.
All that really happens is that we aren't the ones complicating it any more.
Which is hard to come to terms with at first, when we've always been the main instigator of the f*ck-ups we experience.
People still sometimes get sick.
Folk can still act in a cruel way towards us.
There is no formula for a perfect, drama-free existence in the outside world.
But when we refuse to tolerate any histrionics in our personal life or inner-emotions.
We instantly cut out one of the biggest vices we harboured as drinkers.
Try it. Screen your day for people, situations, or personal emotional reactions that bring out the drama in your life.
Take note of them. (Here's a hint, Facebook and Twitter will be filled with them, not just face-to-face interactions.)
Ask yourself it it's really worth keeping up such an out-dated way of dealing with sh*t.
Then, have a little clear out. Mute the people who court drama on your timeline.
Stop responding to texts or engaging in phone calls with dramatic souls.
See these people as the overgrown teenagers they really are.
Then thank your lucky stars we've chosen a different way.
And have the most beautiful drama-free day ever x